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Press Release Images: Spirit
28-Apr-2004
Mars Rovers Finish Primary Mission and Roll Onward
Full Press Release
Spirit's Mission From Beginning to End
Spirit's Mission From Beginning to End

This image highlights the beginning - the Columbia Memorial Station - and possible end - the "Columbia Hills" - of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's journey. The image was taken by the camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
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Spirit Spies Its Shadow
Spirit Spies Its Shadow

This 360-degree panorama taken by the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit highlights the bumpy terrain surrounding the rover. Spirit's shadow can be seen in a small hollow lying between the rover and its intended target, the eastern-lying "Columbia Hills." Spirit's longest drive so far covered about 88.5 meters (about 290 feet) and took place on sol 113. This image was taken on sol 112 (April 26, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Hills on the Horizon

This image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's ultimate destination -- the "Columbia Hills." It was acquired on sol 89 with the camera's green filter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Spirit's Express Route to 'Columbia Hills'
Spirit's Express Route to 'Columbia Hills'

This map illustrates the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's position as of sol 112 (April 26, 2004), near the crater called "Missoula." Like a train on a tight schedule, Spirit will make regular stops along the way to its ultimate destination, the "Columbia Hills." At each stop, or "station," the rover will briefly analyze the area's rocks and soils. Each tick mark on the rover's route represents one sol's worth of travel, or about 60 to 70 meters (200 to 230 feet). Rover planners estimate that Spirit will reach the hills around mid-June. Presently, the rover is stopped at a site called "Plains Station."

The color thermal data show how well different surface features hold onto heat. Red indicates warmth; blue indicates coolness. Areas with higher temperatures are more likely to be rocky, as rocks absorb heat. Lower temperatures denote small particles and fewer rocks. During its traverse, Spirit will document the causes of these temperature variations.

The map comprises data from the camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter and the thermal emission imaging system on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/ASU/MSSS/Ames
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Confirming Predictions

This map highlights the path that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has traveled and will continue to travel toward the "Columbia Hills." As of today, sol 114 (April 28, 2004), Spirit has driven about 1,315 meters (.82 miles). Light patches of color surrounding various craters are areas that were predicted to be material ejected from those craters. The predictions were based on observatons from orbit. Spirit's observations of the rocks and soils along this route so far confirm those predictions. The map comprises data from the camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter and the thermal emission imaging system on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/ASU/New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
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Things Aren't Always What They Seem

This mosaic was assembled from images taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit at a region dubbed "site 31." Spirit is looking at "Missoula Crater." From orbit, the features within the crater appeared to be ejecta from the younger "Bonneville Crater," but Spirit's closer look revealed wind-blown drift deposits, not ejecta, within Missoula Crater.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Evidence of Ancient Blisters in Rocks

This image from the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows scoriaceous rocks (rocks containing holes or cavities) on the ground, as well as a transition from rocky terrain (foreground) to smoother terrain (background). Spirit is heading toward the smoother terrain on its way to the "Columbia Hills." The holes in some of the rocks may have resulted from "blisters" formed by water vapor as it escaped lava. This indicates that the rocks were chilled atop an ancient lava flow. Porous rocks such as these, now appearing in abundance, have not been seen since early in the mission. Scientists believe they may have been covered by crater ejecta. This image was taken on sol 110 (April 24, 2004) at a region dubbed "site 35."

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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